Madison Square Garden (MSG), as we know, is being kicked out of their wondrous perch atop Penn Station. The neglected train station will finally have its chance to bask in the sun if developers can come up with a plan for redevelopment.
Penn Station (along with most of NYC’s infrastructure) is in need serious face lift. The transportation hubs of this city are hovels in comparison to similar infrastructure abroad. To bring Penn Station into the 21st century, the first and most necessary step is for MSG to operate elsewhere.
The City Council agreed with this rationale in their 47-1 vote, which determinedly gives MSG a ten-year operating permit. Their options of staying aren’t entirely out the window, since they can go through the permission process a second time come 2023. Also, in 10 years, if there are no definite plans for a renovated station, then MSG and transit officials can compromise and agree on what’s the best way to improve the current Penn Station. This loophole will then allow for MSG’s lease to be re-extended, and the sports stadium-concert-hall-entertainment-mega-center can stay put.
If either of these options are left unaccomplished, then MSG will be forced to leave. Where would they possibly go? There are proposed places in Manhattan. Viable options are the U.S. Postal building between Ninth and Tenth Avenues between 28th and 30th street, a pier on the Hudson River, and the James Farley Post Office that is right across the street from the present day location. MSG executives haven’t shown any receptive sentiments regarding any of these locations
Brooklyn is definitely not in the cards, as their competition is soaking up all the hipster air in the new-age borough. What about the other NYC boroughs? Queens’ Citi Field will soon be revamped along with all of Willet’s Point by the Related Company and will be opening their own entertainment venues. This could leave MSG’s potential of moving into the borough out before it was even really considered. The Bronx and Staten Island lack sufficient infrastructure. Without a large hub or transportation to support the large array of people expected to come to MSG, the Garden is really at a loss in moving to either of these boroughs.
Where MSG goes is still completely up in the air, and for good reason—the options are truthfully slim. MSG execs are wishing for their iconic stadium to stay put. Only time will tell what is in store for this NYC staple. If NYC doesn’t work out, there could be one last option—Long Island. Long Island Knicks jersey anyone?